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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Jake Gyllenhaal

Gold Derby nuggets: Steve Pond digs into documentary race | Guy Lodge on category fraud | Guests line up for Conan O'Brien

October 21, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Steve Pond delves into the selection process for the documentary feature Oscar race. As he reports, "in a remarkable year for non-fiction filmmaking of all kinds, the looming possibility of more Oscar-doc controversies means it’s time to take a look at a process in which: films are judged by surprisingly few people; the most active filmmakers are ineligible or unable to vote; and the final slate of nominees is almost invariably made up of issue-oriented docs — to the exclusion of the odder, entertaining works that make the field so vital these days." THE WRAP

Sasha Stone finds much to quote from the script for "The Social Network," leading off her list of favorite lines of dialogue with this one: "Let’s gut the nerd." AWARDS DAILY

Caitlin King says, "Gwyneth Paltrow will be taking the stage at next month's Country Music Association Awards as a performer. She'll sing the title track of her new movie, 'Country Strong,' and will be joined by Vince Gill." AP

• From London, Mark Shenton reports, "Four days of performances for Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Love Never Dies,' the sequel to 'The Phantom of the Opera,' have been taken off sale at London's Adelphi Theatre for the week commencing Nov. 22. Performances are set to resume Nov. 26. During the shutdown, revisions will be made to the show. A spokesman said, 'Some changes were written up over the summer and destined for the Australian production and as they make improvements to the show we'd be mad not to put them into the Adelphi [production in London].'" PLAYBILL

The Kids are All RightGuy Lodge asks, "Is Focus right to campaign both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as leads in 'The Kids Are All Right,' or would it be more appropriate (and tactical) for one to drop to supporting? Can Lesley Manville be declared a lead in 'Another Year' when her character flits around two more constant — but also more passive — presences in the film? Will 'True Grit' newcomer Hailee Steinfeld be the victim of the unwritten campaigning rule stating that minors are, by definition, supporting players — whether they’re carrying a film on their shoulders or not?" IN CONTENTION

Peter Knegt takes a closer look at the Gotham Awards nominations. "Handed out by Independent Feature Project (IFP) for the past twenty years, they have always offered an interesting and generally deserving batch of nominations. But they are also quite inconsistent both category to category and year to year, which to some degree makes them a bit difficult to prove a stable predictor of anything beyond them." INDIE WIRE

Jeff Wells reports from a screening of "Love and Other Drugs" that "Hathaway's performance is the killer, and it is, I suppose, because you can read every emotional tick and tremor on her face, and because your heart goes out to any character coping with a debilitating disease (stage-one Parkinson's) and who wants to keep herself aloof and in control. But Gyllenhaal gives his most winning performance ever — not the deepest or darkest or saddest, perhaps, but 100% likable with no audience-alienation issues except for emotional avoidance. They're quite a pair, these two. All you want is to see them keep it together and somehow make it work." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Jean Bentley has the lineup of bold-faced names who will appear on the first week of Conan O'Brien's new TBS talker: "The first episode of Coco's new late night talk show will feature Seth Rogen and musical guest Jack White, along with the winner of the first guest poll — a hotly contested competition between The Pope, Jack Nicholson, Vladimir Putin, REO Speedwagon, The Sultan of Brunei, Justin Bieber, Thomas Pynchon, Gerhard Ertl, Arlene Wagner, Lady Gaga, the cast of the live-action 'Fat Albert' movie and Tom from MySpace to decide the first guest. Nov. 9 will feature Tom Hanks (fittingly, Hanks was the last guest on the O'Brien-hosted 'Tonight Show'), Jack McBrayer (another Coco pal) and Soundgarden. Nov. 10 will see Jon Hamm, Charlene Yi and Fistful of Mercy, and Nov. 11 will feature Michael Cera, Julie Bowen and comedian Jon Dore. TV SQUAD

• Writes Jenelle Riley,"Here's some video of the 'Conviction' Q&A we did with Sam Rockwell a couple weeks ago. The film opened in 11 theaters last weekend, averaging $10,000 per theater — a figure that is either pretty good or a complete disaster, depending on whose hype you believe. What's most important is that everyone I've spoken to who's actually seen the movie has high praise, particularly for Rockwell, who still looks like the one to beat for Best Supporting Actor come awards time." BACKSTAGE

• "South Park" skewered "Inception" on Wednesday night's episode and, as Brian Rafterty notes, "a DiCaprio doppelgänger tried to make sense of the film's dream-warrior premise. 'You just don't get it, 'cause you're not smart enough!'" VULTURE

Photo: Annette Bening, left, and Julianne Moore in "The Kids are All Right." Credit Focus Features.

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MTV award for best kiss: Keira & James or Kevin & Adam?

April 24, 2008 |  1:22 pm

Soon the nominations will be announced for the MTV Movie Awards, which take place in L.A. on June 1. Two categories are of keenest interest, of course: best villain and smoochers!

The villains' slugfest will be a delightfully dastardly smackdown between those Oscar-grabbing devils Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men") and Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"). Hmmm . . . I sure hope we see that played out on stage with Javier thrusting that cattle gun at Daniel while Daniel smacks his skull with a bowling pin. Can you think of any scene that would better sum up — in so many enlightening ways — what the whole recent Oscar derby was all about?


Oh, yes! Wait! If Johnny Depp leapt into the fray wielding his Sweeney razor at their throats! Oh, what fun!

And what about the award for best kiss? — you ask, panting frantically.

Of course, voters will go for some man-on-man action there too. Remember, the last two winners of that category were nefarious participants in boy-boy nookie: Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen locking lips ("Talladega Nights") and Jake Gyllenhaal planting a big wet one on Heath Ledger ("Brokeback Mountain"). So that means — gawd help us all — we can expect a nauseating nom for Adam Sandler and Kevin James in a pic recently robbed at the Razzies (eight bids and not a single "win"!) — "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."

Our forum posters are buzzing with their opinions of other likely contenders: James McAvoy and Keira Knightley ("Atonement"), Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey ("Enchanted") and Jenna Fischer and John C. Reilly ("Walk Hard"). CLICK HERE to spy on MORE of their views. Check out the MTV Movie Awards website HERE.


(Photos: MTV, Disney, Universal, Focus Features)

'Rendition's' Oscar hopes dashed in Toronto

September 9, 2007 |  9:40 pm

"Rendition" sure looks like Oscar bait, having a disastrous U.S. policy on Iraq as a theme and being toplined by recent best-actress champ Reese Witherspoon and supporting actor nominee Jake Gyllenhaal. But film critics gave it a different rendition in Toronto. The Hollywood Reporter dismissed it as "a heavy-handed thriller with simplistic characters and manipulative story lines." (READ MORE) Variety says it's "dull . . . a middlebrow stab at political relevance." (READ MORE)


Photo: Isabella El-Ibrahim (Witherspoon) turns to an old pal (Peter Sarsgaard), who's now a top government official, to help her find her husband, who's being secretly tortured by the U.S. (New Line)

You're gonna love 'Brokebackgirls'!

January 14, 2007 |  7:43 pm

On the off chance you live under a rock and didn't see or hear about Jake Gyllenhaal's hilarious riff on "Dreamgirls" and "Brokeback Mountain" on "Saturday Night Live," check it out at YouTube — CLICK HERE!


(Photo: NBC)

Does 'Flags' = 'Best Years'? Or 'Jarhead'?

October 8, 2006 |  9:51 pm

The basic story line of "Flags of Our Fathers" is a proven favorite at past Academy Awards. A tale of U.S. soldiers struggling to adjust to civilian society after returning from war, "The Best Years of Our Lives" won seven Oscars, including best picture of 1946. The drama helmed by William Wyler (Oscar winner as best director for "Mrs. Miniver") about three dispirited veterans dared to have a downer message immediately after World War II, but it became the biggest box office hit since "Gone with the Wind" seven years earlier.

"Flags" is also about WWII, but its political message about disillusionment in war reflects views commonly held today about U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Will Oscar voters respond as appreciatively as they did 60 years ago? Or will this war movie bomb like a pic last year about Yankee soldiers returning from Iraq — "Jarhead" — directed by Oscar champ Sam Mendes ("American Beauty")? Sure, "Jarhead" focused far less on the soldiers' return stateside, but its basic anti-war message was the same. Also, like "Flags," it had sky-high Oscar hopes at this point last year, too, and appeared to be bullet-proof. Ditto for "Flags"?


Photos: Paramount/ Samuel Goldwyn/ Universal

Will 'Zodiac' ambush the Oscar derby?

September 22, 2006 | 11:06 am


That savvy Oscarologist Pete Hammond (film critic for Maxim, Oscar contributor to Variety) reminds us: "Two years ago, eventual Best Picture Oscar victor 'Million Dollar Baby' had not even been officially announced as a 2004 release. Warner Bros. didn’t do that until September 30th and the film wasn’t screened for select press until mid-November when its heavy courtship with Oscar began in earnest."

In his new weekly Oscar column at, Pete adds, "Is that scenario in the cards for David Fincher’s 'Zodiac?' This adaptation of the Robert Graysmith book about the notorious Zodiac serial killer who roamed San Francisco in the '60s and '70s is currently scheduled to open through domestic distributor Paramount on January 19, 2007. Fincher is now completing editing and mixing and the film should be pretty much wrapped in a couple of weeks. Sources are saying it is brilliantly made with great performances across the board. The cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards. And even though Fincher’s hard edged previous films ('Fight Club,' 'Panic Room,' 'Se7en') have received a grand total of 2 Academy nods in tech categories, this is said to be the one that could change that pattern." Read more — CLICK HERE!

Photo: Robert Downey Jr. (seated in car) portrays a suspect cornered by investigator Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Zodiac.'

MTV Awards: 'Kong's' revenge? 'Brokeback' kiss-off?

April 24, 2006 |  7:32 am


That poor, big, misunderstood ape didn't even get nominated for best picture at the Oscars, but "King Kong" came out swinging for the top prize at the MTV Movie Awards when nominations were announced today. He's got a good chance of winning, too, considering voters (viewers of MTV and MTV2) like butt-kicking actioners like "Gladiator" and all three "Lord of the Rings" installments. There's hope for "40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Wedding Crashers," too, though. Sometimes comedies get the last laugh — like "There's Something About Mary" did eight years ago.

Meantime, voters resolved that whole "Brokeback Mountain" vs. "Crash" thing by nominating neither of them for best pic. "Virgin" and "Crashers" lead with the most noms each: five.

"Brokeback's" poor Heath Ledger got overlooked in the best performance category despite the fact that his Significant Other got a hug — very curious sinceJake Gyllenhaal had been demoted to the supporting race at other award shows. Recent Oscar champ Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote") got snubbed, too, but not his female counterpart. Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line") squares off against Joaquin Phoenix just like the Cash couple did on screen, but not for a dance or a duet.

Curiously, Paris Hilton ("House of Wax") could go from Razzie to redemption at the MTV kudos. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are nommed for both best fight and best kiss, but they can kiss that latter kudo goodbye considering they're up against the "Brokeback" boys.

The kudocast airs on MTV on June 6 at 9 p.m. eastern.

"Batman Begins"
"The 40-Year Old Virgin"
"King Kong"
"Sin City"
"Wedding Crashers"

Steve Carell, "The 40-Year Old Virgin"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain"
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
Rachel McAdams, "Red Eye"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"
Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

Steve Carell, "The 40-Year Old Virgin"
Tyler Perry, "Madea's Family Reunion"
Adam Sandler, "The Longest Yard"
Vince Vaughn, "Wedding Crashers"
Owen Wilson, "Wedding Crashers"

Click "Continue Reading" link below to see more nominees!

Photo: "Brokeback" has a lip lock on the best kiss award, of course.
(Focus Features)

Continue reading »

Gene Seymour's revised Oscars predix

March 1, 2006 | 12:12 pm

A few weeks ago Newsday film critic Gene Seymour generously wrote out his Oscar predix for The Envelope. Looks like he's changed his mind in three categories since — supporting actor (dumping Paul Giamatti for Matt Dillon), musical score (goodbye "Brokeback," hello "Geisha") and song (now prefers "Pimp" to "Travelin' Through"). Below are Seymour's full predictions, as originally written, followed by his updates in each race.

X - "Brokeback Mountain"
"Good Night, and Good Luck"

The only thing that could brake this juggernaut's momentum — and it’s by no means unlikely — is some manner of "Brokeback" fatigue; e.g., people hearing for so long how "great" the movie is and how it can't possibly match the hype and/or heightened expectations after so many months, blah blah blah. Right now, this minute, none of the other nominees has “Brokeback’s” heart-as-big-as-all-outdoors. And, as we've seen repeatedly over the decades, "heart" trumps every other consideration, especially in this category.

(Feb. 25) All the elements of an upset are swirling around this one. “Crash” is bearing down, harder than any movie has on a front-runner in recent memory. But there’s a lot of historical precedent to get by. I’m staying with “Brokeback,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong.

Continue reading »

Gene Seymour's early Oscar predix

February 10, 2006 | 12:12 am

Right now I'm very busy rounding up early Oscar predictions from our panel of experts so The Envelope can issue racetrack odds. All I'm asking each expert to do is to rank nominees from 1 to 5 in 12 categories, but Gene Seymour of Newsday went to town giving us detailed analysis of each category in extensive text format. So, since he offered these to us so generously, here are his noodlings for your kudos enlightenment and enjoyment.

X - "Brokeback Mountain"
"Good Night, and Good Luck"

The only thing that could brake this juggernaut's momentum — and it’s by no means unlikely — is some manner of "Brokeback" fatigue; e.g., people hearing for so long how "great" the movie is and how it can't possibly match the hype and/or heightened expectations after so many months, blah blah blah. Right now, this minute, none of the other nominees has “Brokeback’s” heart-as-big-as-all-outdoors. And, as we've seen repeatedly over the decades, "heart" trumps every other consideration, especially in this category.

X - Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"
Bennett Miller, "Capote"
Paul Haggis, "Crash"
George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Steven Spielberg, "Munich"

See above. Besides, they've been trying to give one of these to Ang Lee for years. If nothing else, this'll satisfy all those folks who wanted him to get it for "Crouching Possum, Hidden Mastiff" or whatever that thing was called.

X - Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"
David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Earlier in the day, I thought the aforementioned juggernaut was powerful enough to carry everything and everybody connected with it to the winners' circle. But has anyone really seen Heath Ledger out there campaigning for this thing? Possibly I've missed him, but I wonder. (Too many goddamn movies to review keep me in the dark, so to speak.) Philip Seymour Hoffman, meanwhile, is well-liked and highly admired among his peers, who’ve already given him a SAG Award. Pencil him in.

Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"
Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"
Charlize Theron, "North Country"
X - Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

I like Felicity Huffman and her hubby very much and I'm quite sure that, between them, there's an Oscar coming their way sometime in the coming years. But Huffman’s "Transamerica" turn is one of those situations where you’re more impressed with the performance's assembly process than with the performance itself. On the other hand, there's the all-powerful Reese-ster! A natural reaching the first of what will likely be many peaks. She cannot — and will not — be stopped.

George Clooney, "Syriana"
Matt Dillon, "Crash"
X - Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain"
William Hurt, "A History of Violence"

I'm going strictly by SAG on this right now, though I think this is the one category where things can easily change in the remaining couple weeks of balloting.

Amy Adams, "Junebug"
Catherine Keener, "Capote"
Frances McDormand, "North Country"
X - Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"
Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain"

Wide, wide open. But then, this category usually is. Once again, I’m going along with SAG for now. But Adams has been making herself more visible (as she should) and you know how much they love giving ingenues and newcomers this trophy.

X - Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, "Crash"
George Clooney and Grant Heslov, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Woody Allen, "Match Point"
Noah Baumbach, "The Squid and the Whale"
Steven Gaghan, "Syriana"

No way is this movie coming away empty-handed. Not after one of the most remarkable, attention-getting campaigns in recent memory.

X - Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain"
Dan Futterman, "Capote"
Jeffrey Caine, "The Constant Gardener"
Josh Olson, "A History of Violence"
Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, "Munich"

Book it in bronze, baby, though there are some who really go for Futterman’s fine work here.

"Don't Tell" (Italy)
"Joyeux Noël" (France)
"Paradise Now" (Palestine)
"Sophie Scholl - The Final Days" (Germany)
X - "Tsotsi" (South Africa)

My lone "oh-what-the-hell" pick of this round. I’ve nothing to go on except the swoons it generated towards the end of last fall’s Toronto Film Festival.

"Howl's Moving Castle," Hayao Miyazaki
"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
X - "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit," Nick Park and Steve Box

It's not their best, but after the W&G boys' consistent wins in the animated shorts competition, it'd be hard to imagine them losing their first time up for features.

X - "Brokeback Mountain," Gustavo Santaolalla
"The Constant Gardener," Alberto Iglesias
"Memoirs of a Geisha," John Williams
"Munich," John Williams
"Pride & Prejudice," Dario Marianelli

Even though John Williams could very well hear his name announced. Yet again.

"In the Deep" from "Crash," Music by Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker; Lyrics by Kathleen "Bird" York
"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow," Music and Lyrics by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard
X - "Travelin' Thru" from "Transamerica," Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton

The "Hustle & Flow" theme was catchier than a hundred butterfly nets. Still, the songwriters who vote in this category sometimes react badly to things that are too hip-hop. I'd have to listen again to Dolly's tune to see if it’s just catchy enough to steal the statue.



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